Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby nycmango » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:52 pm

I just wanted to add that censorship is an insult to the original art and artist who intended to add these explicit scenes. Also, I find it offensive that I am being sold a product that is not 100% it's original form. Just because I'm buying the book in English, why should I lose the right to read it with the explicit scenes.

I understand that companies are started to generate revenue, but don't claim that you care about the fans. It seems to me June just want to make money off hardcore fans by licensing very popular titles and going as far as censoring parts to get the books in every bookstore possible. If you really cared about the fans you would publish books 100% true to it's original Japanese counterpart and sell the books that cannot be sold at other retailers on your own site "adakot".

At least this would actually keep your customers happy knowing that we get the same privilege as those from Japan. Instead, people are now afraid to buy your bootleg books!
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby Hiyoshimaru » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:17 am

Hmmm... I found this funny because hard yaoi books are censored in Japan as well. :lol:
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby sun22 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:59 am

Books in Japan may be SELF-censored - in collaboration between the artist and the editor.

The original Invisible Love is much more explicit than Love Skit (also by Rie Honjou), published under 801 Media recently, and it is NOT censored by the artist / Japanese publisher. DMP's Invisible Love was very censored and published under June instead of publishing it uncensored under 801 Media, because June had to make money on it etc etc and opted for "wider distribution" - as per their reply to me on this title. (I always wonder who's that "wider distribution" is and how many underage fans buy it via that route as store clerks do not bother and are not required to check the IDs...) By doing this, US readers got a very different perspective on Rie Honjou's work than those who read her work in Japan or Europe (Germany).
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby nycmango » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:48 pm

Hiyoshimaru wrote:Hmmm... I found this funny because hard yaoi books are censored in Japan as well. :lol:


sun22 wrote:Books in Japan may be SELF-censored - in collaboration between the artist and the editor.


I agree that in Japan they have some rules regarding explicit content, but it's not strict at all. I buy A LOT of doujinshi and yaoi mangas from Japan and there are male "private parts" hanging out on every page (left and right) and lots of explicit sex involved throughout the story. If you are not involved with the "Original" Japanese Boy's Love contents then you probably don't know what explicit really means. English published books is nothing compared to what you can get in Japan. You will never find shota or real hardcore yaoi in America publishing. 801 media just merely shows you a glimpse of hard yaoi but there is way more explicit work sold in Japan that you will never get in America, well I get them but a lot of people who buy English published work assumes that everything published is exactly the same content as those published in Japan and hence this is where censorship is an issue.

Yes sometimes you hear about artist editing their work, but they are allowed to because it's their own art and they can do whatever the hell they want to make sure that it's to their liking. However for English publishers to edit work that isn't there own just because they want to make more money is just insulting! All I'm hearing is that explicit art is being censored because it needs to be sold in certain retail stores, however it would have shined a different light if there were laws saying that it has to be censored regardless of where it's being sold, but we all know this is not the case. In this case art is being censored only because they want to generate more money (that's how I view the situation). And "maybe" the artist allows English publishers to censor parts of their work, but in this scenario it's just unfair and upsetting for an American customer who don't get the same privilege as Japanese readers.

For example, you buy a playboy magazine expecting revealing pictures but when you look inside the girls are wearing sweaters.

haha that might not be a good explanation, but the point is when I buy a book categorized as "YAOI" I expect there to be porn and private parts dangling at me!!! I don't want to see an empty white space OK! Gesh.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby mo2468 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:34 pm

From what I understand, the publisher decides what graphic content goes into the books (not the artist or the editor), but of course the editor is the one facilitating the publisher's standard, so the publisher is working through him or her. Japanese companies have dozens of magazines, sort of the way US licensees use different imprints, only on a grander scale. They pick the artist and the magazine and set the standard for graphic content (only in doujinshi, works not made to turn an actual profit or make a living at, leave content totally up to the artist). If the artist knows the standard, or their personal standard is the same as the magazine, there is generally no need for censorship, but if the artist draws whatever she wants anyway, the publisher will censor the drawings, or make the artist do so. This is how we get blurred penises, etc. I would argue it isn't much different from how English publishers set content/graphic restrictions, only they use US standards for "decency" in comics (whether those standards are clearly legal issues or based on general standards of decency that dictate who will agree to sell the product), instead of the Japanese standard, which as we have come to understand from things like the Handley Case, are much more conservative on sexual issues.

On another note, thinking the English companies are doing all of this without the Japanese publishers knowledge or consent is a mistake. The Japanese are very controlling of content, just ask any US anime industry person. The industry is also bigger there than it is here, so they throw their weight around more confidently than a little US licensing company can (and if a licensee were to go against the Japanese licensor's wishes, they could simply refuse to work with that licensee ever again). I'm not saying it happens to all titles all the time, but the Japanese licensors can reserve the right to sign off on all cover art, advertisements, name translations, etc. etc. The list goes on and on. The idea that censorship somehow flies under their radar is absurd.

Even the artist who drew that title that Seven Seas dropped acknowledged that what is acceptable in Japan is not necessarily acceptable in the US. If we want to get our titles printed in English we're just going to have to accept the realities of the publishing world: things like hardcore Shota is not going to get licensed here anytime soon, if ever, and the graphic content of books is going to get toned down in order to spread yaoi to a bigger market. We're not going to see the censorship end until the market is stable and more importantly large enough to support itself without the help of retailers who dictate conservative content standards to the publishers.

You might want to call June "despicable" or "money-grubbing" for wanting to turn a profit, but they are a business, and that is what businesses do in capitalist societies. The artists themselves are "in it for the money," too. They aren't giving their product away for free for the "love" of doing it. They are selling it. Furthermore, DMP, of all the publishers of BL in English, is the only one really stable in these trying economic times (look at Deux, DramaQueen, the closures of Iris, Broccoli, CPM and the recent layoffs at Media Blasters). And I would argue that they are so because they are reaching out to a wider market, and they are doing it by compromising on the "authenticity" of the content.

In conclusion, in regards to referring to June mangas as "bootlegs:" this is incorrect. A bootleg is the illegal production and/or distribution of something. Bootlegging is what scanlators are doing, not what the legitimate business who goes to the trouble of legally acquiring the right to distribute a work of fiction in another language does, regardless of how anyone feels about the "changes" they make. Books being "inauthentic" because they are edited is not the same thing.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby sun22 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:26 pm

While this may be true that some manga-kas are informed by US publishers re: how their titles are altered here (at least, I recall a DMP rep saying something like that when Makoto Tateno's censored title was discussed...), but I do wonder whether they realize what type of effect these "alterations" have on some of their fans here. I will be sure to write to Rie Honjou re: what I think about the title in question - the first thing I learn Japanese well enough to write! (and not just Rie Honjou probably). Well, I guess I might just opt for hiring a translator given that'd be a much faster (and error-proof) option :)

I believe most artists in Japan have the option to decide re: their artwork is presented, even if the publisher is imposing a certain standard on them. Of course, they can always just find themselves being refused to being published, and hence many of them cooperate. But to summarize, artists do have a choice when it comes to publishing in Japan, and no wonder certain manga-kas publish only with certain publishers (Kousai Comics and Diamond Comics, for instance, publish really hardcore yaoi stuff without any visible censorship, so any manga-ka who cares about that would try to get published there etc). I don't claim all manga-kas are oblivious to what certain US publishers do to their art, I'm just questioning if they're fully informed of all the consequences and details of their decisions. I guess the latter (i.e., letting manga-kas know what some fans think about their censored publication in US) is the responsibility of those fans who care about such issues.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby lore » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:16 pm

Couple things:

1. I think sometimes we lose track of the fact that of all the people who buy BL books, it's likely that less than 5% are following the BL news and are as informed about the details of BL books the way we are here. In fact, 5% is my conservative guess; I think it's probably lower than that. If a book with a print run of 10,000 sells out, and there are maybe 1000 participant/lurkers here (not total accounts, but people who actually check these forums regularly), then 9000 buy a book without knowing more about it than Amazon or Akadot offers. The messages we all pass around on this forum aren't reaching very wide; and even getting the message out to the usual BL media outlets (Twitter, Blogs, Aarinfantasy, etc.), we're still not reaching the majority of buyers. I believe most people purchase titles in the dark.

2. I'd love some links where there's actual discussion of the power mangakas wield over their art. I read the notes in the back of every BL manga I read and it seems like most of the mangakas are humble, over-worked and a slave to their deadlines. There are mentions of the mangaka re-doing the art because she didn't like the original art, but no mentions of any personal power over the content. But if there are places we could read up on this, I'd not only love to read them myself, but I'd then be in total agreement on this point.

I know in the US, both comic creators and writers for fiction have very little control over their work once it's completed - at least, not until they reach superstar status like JK Rowling or Stephen King. Most go through an editing process and if the publisher doesn't want something, it's out if you still want it published. I know that we've heard that Ayano Yamane has some serious control over how her work looks, at least over here, but I haven't heard that about any other top mangaka. If things truly are different in Japan, I'd love to know -- and point some writer friends over to links so that they might gain some insight and possibly empowerment!

Finally, I recall a DMPer mentioning that Makoto Tateno's future publications were discussed when she was here with DMP at Yaoi Con last year. That might be what Sun22 is remembering.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby sun22 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:37 pm

If you want to read about what manga-kas think etc and reach them directly, you will have to contact them in Japanese, though a few may speak English. Most manga-kas have their web-sites or web-pages, listed in the notes to their books. Re: control over their work and such - I'm not sure what you're implying. A Japanese author/manga-ka knows which publishers accept hardcore work, and goes to those accordingly if that's what their artistic intention is. Whether he/she's famous etc is irrelevant here, though of course really famous manga-kas would have some say with almost ANY publisher, possibly even regardless of the policies of that publisher. That goes without saying.
Some manga-kas go to multiple Japanese publishers and have multiple versions of their works - some are explicit / uncensored and some are self-censored with the agreement of that other, "milder" publisher guidelines: e.g., Shushushu Sakurai published Mandayou to Ore (licensed by DQ here) both under a "mild publisher", B's Lovey (and it was accordingly self-censored), and also original edition of BBC (basically, uncensored, though some "thin lines" are present). Curiously, DQ planned / plans (?) to publish it completely uncensored in the US, even with "thin lines" removed - as per a free preview chapter they gave in one of their previously published books.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby kinziechan » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:52 pm

I've read this thread thoroughly and I really on have 2 quick things to say before I pop back on out as they are not pertinant to the conversation at hand.
1: I am of the opinion that the majority of BL manga is to be considered pornographic. If it shows two people having sex, especially explicitly, it is considered porn in my book. Whether or not you would like to admit that you read something like this is up to you but it is an undeniable fact. I am NOT saying every title is pornographic.
2: I own the original copy of this book and found the June title at the Hastings near my house. The book was already unwrapped (a common thing nowadays, kids will sit and read BL manga in the middle of a busy store) and I was most dissappointed. While I can read Japanese and can understand it for the most part, I like to own the English edition so I dont have to try as hard. XD
I know that June is to be more widely distributed but if you're really wanting to reach such a large audience I'm not entirely sure this is the way to go. Children open and read these books regardless of their ratings regardless.
If June is going to be releasing mature titles and put a warning on it, why bother putting out mature books at all?

Oh and I went off on a mini rant but after being shit on at work, I'm not in the best of moods.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby sun22 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:51 am

Softcore flicks included in my fairly basic Cinemax cable subscription are much more pornographic than most - even really smutty - yaoi titles. (They feature very abundant female nudity, and females engaged in explicit sex, though). My impression from the interviews with the director of those is that he would get offended if anyone calls his movies porn, as he markets himself "erotica producer" - he doesn't want to associate himself with hardcore industry which is fairly well know for no artistic values, horrible representation of women (and men, IMO), and terrible working conditions for most actors. Not all porn makers are the same, and there are exceptions esp. in the newer generation, but unfortunately, the genre was around for a while, and a lot of contributors were not exactly promoting the best image of this industry. When people say "porn", many think of those things, and labeling even some of yaoi titles porn is misleading and hurtful to the whole genre, IMO. But of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and if you're comfortable calling yaoi with explicit sex "porn", that's your / everyone's right to do so.
Re: "admitting" that I read / watch porn - I have no prob admitting it, as I do watch actual porn occasionally (mostly, gay porn from some newer / more ethical / artistically inclined directors, but porn nonetheless). There's a big difference between that and a vast majority of yaoi manga, IMO.

Back on the topic: I'm not sure I fully understand the second part of your post (sorry... :( ). So, you have both the original and June's edition of Rie Honjou?
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